NEWTON FALLS

Teri Boggs of Newton Falls says she wishes she had known more about addiction several years ago, when her son first dabbled in drugs.

He might not be in prison right now.

Boggs, whose son graduated from Newton Falls High School last year despite his drug problems, was a good athlete, a good student taking college-preparatory classes and a respectful and loving but quiet boy before and even after he became addicted to opiates such as OxyContin and Opana.

The warnings eventually did come that her son had drug problems, but by the time Boggs knew how serious it was, it was too late to prevent him from going to prison, she said.

“Early detection is a big thing,” she said. “I think I learned about it too late. I think if I’d been more educated, I’d have gotten him into an in-house rehabilitation center.”

Boggs and several local drug-education and recovery organizations will participate in a program from 6 to 8 p.m. May 14 in the Newton Falls High School auditorium to provide more education to parents and youths. It is open to the public.

Sponsors are the Trumbull Ashtabula Group Law Enforcement Task Force and the counseling organization Community Solutions. The first 50 people through the door will receive a free T-shirt.

“We are your average middle-class American family,” Boggs said. “I am hoping that the education received at the event will help others to see the warning signs and maybe stop someone from taking that first pill. I wish something like this was available when we were going through this. I felt like I had nowhere to turn for help.”

Among the presentations will be one by Community Solutions, which will show an average teenager’s room and the places where drugs and drug paraphernalia frequently are hidden.

TAG also will bring various drugs to the presentation, secured under glass, so that everyone can become more aware of what they look like.

Boggs said she believes schools don’t provide enough drug education, so she’s willing to do her part.

“I’m not going to be the parent who’s going to be hiding what’s going on in our family. I’m going to be the one who will show what’s going on with us and try to help show others where it all started.

“We were just lost. It’s rampant in our community. It’s a disease, and it’s just ruining our children’s lives, and it’s sucking in our families, too.”

By Ed Runyan – Posted at vindy.com

runyan@vindy.com